I am a Canadian citizen who was recently turned away from the border.

Question:

I am a Canadian citizen who was recently turned away from the U.S. border. I was seeking entry into the U.S. to visit my U.S. citizen husband who lives in New York. My husband and I have been traveling back and forth from Canada and the United States to visit each other. This is the first time I have encountered a problem. When I was turned around, I was told that I could reapply for admission at a later date and given a document outlining evidence that I should bring next time. Will I be able to visit my husband soon? Am I prevented from entering the U.S. in the future?

Answer:

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, without the benefit of reviewing your case, I cannot provide you with specific advice on your case; however, I can provide you with some general guidance.

INA § 214(b)

Your situation appears to highlight the issue of immigrant intent. When you seek admission into the U.S. as a visitor for pleasure, you are presumed to be entering with intent to remain in the U.S. permanently. Pursuant to INA § 214(b),

Every alien (other than a nonimmigrant described in subparagraph (L) or (V) of section 101(a)(15), and other than a nonimmigrant described in any provision of section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) except subclause (b1) of such section) shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa, and the immigration officers, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15). 

As a result, the law places the burden of proof on you to establish that, to satisfaction of immigration officials, you are entitled to the nonimmigrant status of visitor for pleasure.

Evidence of Ties to Home Country

I can only guess as to the reason why you were turned away from the U.S. border, but it may have been due to your marriage to your U.S. citizen husband. Fortunately, no serious immigration consequences resulted from your attempt to enter the U.S., as you were instructed to reapply at a later date. The question then becomes when is the appropriate time to reapply? The next day is probably not the best decision. Rather, you should gauge your decision on your ability to adequately prove that you are entering as a visitor and will return to Canada at the conclusion of your visit. Sometimes, after being denied admission by Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), CBP officers will provide you with a list of documents that you should bring to your next application for admission. In general, you should bring the following evidence to prove your ties to your home country:

·      Evidence of employment (recent pay stubs, employee ID, letter from employer)

·      Proof of foreign residence (recent rent receipts, copy of mortgage, utility bills)

·      Evidence of Financial Support (bank statements, savings and checking account statements, income tax report forms)

·      Evidence of financial assistance (receipts or government correspondence of unemployment and/or disability insurance)

·      Medical information

·      Utility bills (phone, gas, electric, water)

·      Income tax return forms (current and previous year)

·      Confirmed return date to home country (airline/train/bus tickets)

·      Sufficient funds to support your visit

Note: bringing the aforementioned evidence with you to your next application for admission will not guarantee your entry. A decision regarding your admissibility to the U.S. will be made at the time of your admission and in light of the evidence provided.

If you continue to experience border issues, please contact my office for assistance. In addition to addressing your border issues, we can also discuss your short-term and long-term immigration goals. In particular, your possible immigration to the U.S.